Lauren’s MIFF Picks

by Lauren Valmadre, HRAFF Programming Manager

This year I was fortunate enough to once again be on the Short Film Selection Panel at the Melbourne International Film festival. As well as going to see the wonderful selection of shorts, here is a mere handful of films I am falling over myself to see at this year’s MIFF!

The Neon Demon

Neon Demon

Keeping in theme with this year’s MIFF tagline ‘Films that stay with you’, my ultimate MIFF memory was Closing Night 2011 where I first saw Nicolas Winding Refn’s, Drive. In that moment, I knew I had seen something spectacular and iconic, a film that would define a decade. The Neon Demon looks like it once again captures that tenderness and brutality, the beauty and horror, and finally for the first time, from a female point of view. This is sure to be brilliant.


Sharon Jones2

I’m obsessed with music docos, so my go to move every time I get my hands on the MIFF program is to head straight to the Backbeat section. The combination of two legendary ladies, two-time Academy Award winning documentarian Barbara Kopple and the unstoppable talent that is Sharon Jones, should certainly provide an inspirational and electrifying film experience.


FIre at Sea22

Winning the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale, Fire at Sea is fast becoming one of the most critically acclaimed documentaries examining the European refugee crisis. This of course also falls under my own personal passion for highly relevant films giving much needed perspectives on urgent issues. Essential viewing especially given the relevance to our current state of affairs.



GirlfriendsI am absolutely loving this year’s program segment ‘Gaining Ground’ which highlights the works of trailblazing female filmmakers of New York during the 70s and 80s. All of the films look terrific but I’m most excited to see Girlfriends given its highly influential status to current major female filmmakers, including Lena Dunham and Greta Gerwig.



High Rise

I have been dying to see this film all year after watching the incredibly stylish and totally insane trailer back in January. Matching Ben Wheatley’s unique filmmaking sensibilities with JG Ballard’s classic text, this is sure to be something totally original and memorable. Throw in some Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleswoon for good measure and I’m set.



Other highlights include Elle, Chevalier, Personal Shopper, The Handmaiden, Madly, The Love Witch and The Man from Mo’Wax.

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